“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.” (Colossians 2:10)
Each and every day I begin with the intention to be a better Christian than I was the day before. “Today I will not fail the Lord as I did yesterday” I often tell myself. “Today my attitude and actions will be much better.” But unfortunately, each and every day I fail the Lord in some way.
Recently I was listening to a sermon and during the message the speaker read this verse of scripture- “for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh…” (Philippians 3:3) The part that stood out the most to me was – “and put no confidence in the flesh.” Though many of us think that somehow we are going to someday make ourselves better, the truth is that our flesh is always going to fail us. Paul tells us in Romans 8:3 that it is because of the weakness and inability of our flesh that Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins. According to Paul in Philippians 3, the people who truly know God are not those who are trying to strictly live by some list of rules, but those who are relying completely upon their Savior.
In today’s opening verse we read, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.” The question we must answer is – ‘How did we receive Christ?’ Did we receive Christ after we had turned their lives around and had everything in order? Of course not. We received Christ as sinful men and women who had no other hope than Him. We showed up on His doorstep as spiritual paupers. In our poverty we looked to the cross and received His gracious gift of forgiveness.
“So then…” Paul says, “…just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.” Just as I needed Christ in order to be saved, so I need Christ in order to be sanctified. There will never be a moment when I will be able to be righteous on my own. Always my righteousness will come through my relationship with Him. Again we turn to Paul’s words to the Philippians–
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” (Philippians 3:7) What are the gains Paul is referring to here? Read Philippians 3:4-6 and you will see that it was his acts of self-righteousness that he tried to perform on his own. Paul tried to be righteous, yet he couldn’t. Therefore he concluded – “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, (literally these words mean – animal manure) that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” (Philippians 3:8-9)
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.” How did we come to Christ? We came to Him as broken men and women in need of a Savior. How do we continue to live in Him? As broken men and women in need of a Savior.